July 2014

Let’s all say a big ‘thank you’.

Well, no sooner does a piece appear in the Benefice Newsletter noting Sue Norrington’s remarkable twenty-year achievement with Concerts for Craswall than we hear that she has been awarded the British Empire Medal for her services in the Birthday Honours List. And what a richly deserved award that was.

Now, in case you are worried, I am not making any claims about cause and effect. What is important to note, however, is that service to the community has been recognised. Sue’s service is, of course, exceptional as has been its recognition, but there are many, many others who also work hard for the community here who deserve a degree of recognition also. I am all too conscious that all those ,many people who do any work in and for the churches do so entirely voluntarily. I am not going to attempt to identify the various jobs and tasks undertaken, not least because I am sure I do not know the extent of all the efforts that people put in. And the same can be said about so many other activities that go on in this area. Every single one of the various activities mentioned in this Newsletter involve volunteers, organising events, holding meetings, sitting on committees and councils and doing a whole range of other things. In addition there are many others who perform individual services, especially in helping other people.

And all of them deserve recognition.

I am not suggesting anything formal here, but I would propose something perhaps at least as telling. I think it would be really good if we all gave ourselves the time just to think about those who have in any way helped us or the activities and interests which we value and then went out of way to thank them. People can be very quick to find fault with others and to criticise them for their apparent faults and failings, and that is unfortunate and unhealthy. It can also be extremely dispiriting for those who are, after all, doing their work entirely voluntarily. So let’s not do that: let us rather encourage each other by making it clear that the work, effort and time that people put in is valued. And that is important, not least because to fail to do so is to say that we are taking other people’s services entirely for granted.

Looking at the calendar for the next few months, there is a huge amount going on involved a vast amount of work by a large number of people. The opportunities for letting people know that their work is valued and appreciated will be plentiful: let’s all take advantage of them.